Have you ever clicked on a phishing email? Once? Maybe. Twice? Three times?
The fact is that we’re capable of learning from our experiences, and after one semi-accidental click on an email promising untold riches from a renegade member of Nigeria’s central bank, we’re unlikely to fall for the same dastardly trick twice. And if one of your friends has learned, there’s even less chance you’ll be caught out.
Dealing with internet security risks is something that becomes more effective with collaboration, and that means it’s something that effective analysis of data can help with. As IBM’s Global Executive Security Advisor Diana Kelley explains, the evolution of security has moved from perimeter controls (gates, guns, and guards, as she calls it), to intelligence integration and orchestration, and is now moving towards ‘cognitive, cloud, and collaboration’.
The threat is real enough. Nearly 40 percent of spam emails had ransomware attached in 2016, and cybercriminals made an estimated $1 billion.
Cyber crime is also very professional. If you go on the dark web you’ll find sites where you can literally ‘rent a hacker’ – complete with star ratings from satisfied clients – and collaborate over techniques and technology.
Kelley said that Watson’s cognitive abilities were vital in helping combat this. For one thing, much of the information available about cyber attacks was in the form of natural language, which Watson is good at crunching. Getting meaning out of data also has to be quick.
New risks are developing all the time – for instance with the Internet of Things opening up all manner of new exposures.
So is it all bad? Not if you’re looking for an interesting new career, says Diana Kelley. The only downside of working in combatting cyber risks, she says, is that when she’s doing her job so well that there are no attacks getting through, everybody forgets she’s there.